Tag Archive for Oswald

CIA tradecraft & JFK’s assassination: the making of a patsy

Former CIA station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen addresses a conference of JFK researchers in Dallas in November 2019. (Credit: Jefferson Morley)

Part I : CIA Tradecraft & JFK: A veteran officer analyzes the death of a president

Part II: CIA Tradecraft & JFK: ‘The very top people’

CIA veteran Rolf Mowatt-Larseen proposed a “thought experiment” to the November 2019 JFK conference in Dallas. He reverse-engineered the lone gunman scenario, posing a question both novel and incisive.

 “How can you get away with a really elaborate but very simple plan of deception, to end up in a place where the president is dead and it is blamed on someone else, other than the people who perpetrated it?” he asked. “Not easy.”

Mowatt-Larssen answered his own question with tradecraft analysis. From an operational point of view, at least four people must have been involved, he said1) A mastermind with a deeply personal motivation to kill the president of the United States; 2) someone with the ability to recruit Lee Oswald into the role of patsy; 3) someone with CUT>>>access<<< INSERT>>>the ability>>> to recruit Jack Ruby to kill Oswald; and 4) a second gunman in Dealey Plaza.

The motivation, he said, “most logically relates to the dual events of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis,” he said. Both times, Kennedy chose not to invade the island, prompting men of power who believed they had “the responsibility to save the country from the president,” men who thought “Kennedy is too green, too young. He almost got us into a war with the Soviets. He abandoned people we had trained and sent to Cuba to overthrow Castro.’”

“It has to be personal, ” Mowatt-Larssen insisted. “Every spy that worked for the Soviets that we caught had very personal reasons why they betrayed their country.”

The CIA officers who recruited Oswald had a wealth of information collected since 1959 in his so-called 201 personality file, he says. This file was controlled by the agency’s Counterintelligence staff, led by James Jesus Angleton. Mainstream defenders of the lone gunman theory, like Harvard professor Cass Sunstein and CNN host Chris Matthews, scoff at the idea that the agency would recruit someone as volatile as Oswald, a 24 year old ex-Marine who once had security clearance.

Mowatt-Larssen, a former station chief who handled scores of agents in the course of his career, does not scoff.

 “Why would you try to recruit him?” he asked. “Only if he’s going to be blackmailable. To set him up as the person who killed the president…. so you can sell the cover story of the lone gunman. [That’s] the only logical reason to bring him into the plot.“

Oswald’s tasking

Viewed through the eyes of an operations officer, Oswald’s wandering path to Dealey Plaza makes more sense. It is not paranoid craziness to think Oswald was manipulated by CIA officers, Mowatt-Larssen says.

Mowatt-Larssen hypothesizes that Oswald was recruited, wittingly or unwittingly, into a plot to kill JFK in the spring of 1963. Oswald, he says, came to the attention of Jim Moore, a former FBI agent who ran the CIA’s Dallas office for many years.  Moore’s CIA file, not declassified until April 2018, show that his job responsibilities in 1963 included “exploitation of a source’s complete intelligence potential by debriefing thoroughly” and “cultivation of contact to develop trust and confidence.”

That’s exactly what happened in Dallas in early 1963, Mowatt-Larssen says, when certain CIA men recruited Oswald into the role of patsy.  He has an idea of how it was arranged.

George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian-speaking geologist befriended Oswald in late 1962 after he returned from Russia with his wife Marina. De Mohrenschildt played the role of “access agent,” he says. De Mohrenschildt had been feeding information to the CIA for years. His friendship provided the agency with access to Oswald so that he could be recruited. A third CIA operative–not Moore, not de Mohrenschildt–would have made the pitch to Oswald, according to  Mowatt-Larssen.

He speculates that Oswald, egotistical and prone to flattery, accepted and was immediately induced to leave Texas. “The first thing you do if you’ve recruited a man like Oswald in Dallas,” he explained, “is to get him out of Dallas.”

In April 1963, Oswald moved to New Orleans under the influence of his unidentified CIA handlers, Mowatt-Larssen says.

“You want to reestablish his loyalty, his willingness to accept tasking and to try see if you can use him in a broader capacity,” he explained. The agency’s operatives sought to establish Oswald’s “pro-Castro connections because that’s going to be the cover story. That pro-Castro people were involved in the assassination. That’s his tasking.”

      Mowatt-Larssen’s scenario is founded in documented fact. In August 1963, Oswald provoked a series of encounters with anti-Castro exiles in the CIA-funded Cuban Student Directorate. At the time, the group’s leaders in Miami were receiving $51,000 a month from George Joannides, the chief of covert operations in the Miami station. Mowatt-Larssen believes Carlos Bringuier, the leader of the Cubans who confronted Oswald, was a “CIA contract agent.” As a result of a CIA psychological warfare program, codenamed AMSPELL, Oswald was identified as a Castro supporter in New Orleans newspapers, radio and TV.

      At the same time, Oswald was monitored by senior agency officials back in Langley, Mowatt-Larssen says, a fact which is also well-documented. When Oswald travelled by bus to Mexico City in late September in a failed bid to get a visa to travel to Cuba, the agency was paying close attention..

“Everybody is following him: [counterintelligence chief] Angleton, [Win Scott,] the chief of station  in Mexico,” Mowatt-Larssen said. “Everybody’s aware of what’s going on.  He’s on everybody’s stove.” In his metaphor, the itinerant ex-Marine, scheming for a place in history, was actually getting cooked.

      Oswald returned to Dallas in October 1963 and took a job in the Texas School Book Depository overlooking Dealey Plaza. Six weeks later, when JFK’s motorcade passed by, a flurry of shots rang out and JFK was fatally wounded. Oswald left the scene and was arrested 90 minutes later, allegedly after shooting a police officer. In custody, Oswald denied he had killed the president, telling a crowded news conference, “I’m a patsy.”

“I got chills when I heard Oswald say, ‘I’m a patsy,’” Mowatt-Larssen recounted. “That famous clip. I think I know what he meant…. He knew he had been set up and he knew he was abandoned.” The next day Oswald was being transferred to a more secure jail when he was gunned down on national television by Jack Ruby, owner of a burlesque club and organized crime wannabe.

NEXT: ‘Carried out flawlessy’

CIA tradecraft & JFK’s assassination: A veteran officer analyzes the death of a president

Former CIA station chief Rolf-Mowatt-Larssen addressed a conference of JFK researchers in Dallas in November 2019. (Credit: Jefferson Morley)

(This article, titled “Under CIA Eyes,” first appeared in Counterpunch, Vol. 25 published in January 2020.).

“I was struck by the intimacy and the smallness of the whole surroundings,” said retired CIA officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen after his first visit to Dealey Plaza in November 2019.

Dealey Plaza, a grassy Art Deco entry point to downtown Dallas, is where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Hundreds of thousands of people still come from around the world every day to see the spot where the popular liberal president was ambushed. Many of them have the same reaction to the crime scene: the intimacy, the smallness.

Mowatt-Larssen was not just any tourist.

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Jim Lehrer interviewed Oswald

“I went right to Oswald. ‘Did you kill the president?’”

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18) Dec 24, 1963: CIA official investigating Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story.

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16) Ex-flame says Jack Ruby ‘had no choice’ but to kill Oswald

Gail Raven
“Gail Raven,” an exotic dancer in the southwestern United States in the 1960s, became friends with Jack Ruby.
Who says new JFK witnesses can’t be found?
After JFK Facts recounted Jack Ruby’s pursuit of an exotic dancer named Gail Raven in January 1963, I received a message from a woman who identified herself as Raven’s daughter. She told me that her mother was still alive, and she confirmed that her mother and Jack Ruby were close. I asked her if her mother would share her memories of the man who killed accused assassin Lee H. Oswald. She said yes.
In 1963 Gail Raven was the stage name of a precociously mature 20-year-old woman who danced on the national nightclub circuit that included Ruby’s Carousel Club in Dallas. Ruby (born Jack Rubenstein) was a Chicago tough guy who took a shine to her, and they became friends.
Now close to 70 years old, Gail Raven is living in the southern United States. I have confirmed her real name but have agreed not to publish it here to protect her privacy.
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6) Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald

Fifty fifty years ago, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald came to the attention of a group of senior CIA officers in Langley, Virginia. Oswald had recently visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet Embassy  in Mexico City. A CIA wiretap captured a man identifying himself as “Oswald.”

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2) WATCH: ‘Oswald was known to a dozen senior CIA officials’

I make a strong claim about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald in this video. I think the new JFK files corroborate my observation. But I’d like to get independent verification, preferably from a reputable fact-checking service like Snopes.

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Angleton: The role of a ‘master bureaucratic operator’ in the JFK story

I think this might be the most cogent radio interview I did about THE GHOST.

(Just because I was on Lew Rockwell’s show doesn’t mean I agree with this politics.)

Order the paperback edition of THE GHOST now

From the new paperback edition of THE GHOST:

“Historians and journalists usually describe COINTELPRO as an FBI program, which is not quite the case. It was created by Hoover but functioned as a joint FBI-CIA venture, with a bureaucratic division of labor. Hoover took the lead in targeting dissident Americans inside the United States; Angleton took the lead outside the United States. In the case of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and its most famous member Lee Harvey Oswald, the FBI and the CIA would work together.
Angleton used the HUNTER program to feed the COINTELPRO beast.”

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‘there are numerous indications that Oswald was being used in counter-intelligence operations.

In response to the post about the last of the JFK files that the CIA wants to hide, Anthony writes a cogent interpretation of the evidence developed in Morley v. CIA,as well as Bill Simpich’s State Secret and John Newman’s Oswald and the CIA

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What a senior KGB officer said about Lee Harvey Oswald

Nikolai Leonov

Insider: Fidel Castro, Nikolai Leonov, and Nikita Khrushchev

Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more

Sept. 27, 1963: Oswald arrives in Mexico City

On this day 55 years ago, a strange American visitor appeared at the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City. His name would soon be world famous: Lee Harvey Oswald. Within 24 hours, a joint US-Mexico intelligence gathering operation received wiretap reports on his unusual actions.

The story of what happened next is told in Bill Simpich’s groundbreaking new book, “State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald,” which is being serialized by MaryFerrell.org.

In a season of JFK sotries distinguished by ill-informed experts, bogus revelations, and a Fox News fibber, Simpich’s book qualifies as the most important piece of JFK scholarship to be published this year.

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‘I’m a patsy’: The George de Mohrenschildt story

I am a Patsy! – The Lost Tapes of George De Mohrenschildt from E2 Films on Vimeo.

Did Castro figure out the JFK case in just five days?

Under the suggestive title “Castro Figured Out The JFK Case in Five Days”, an English version of his speech at the University of Havana on November 27, 1963, is available from CTKA.

In due course, the Warren Commission was provided with a slightly different version, but its members feared and rejected Castro’s line of argument depicting JFK’s assassination as part of a broader “plan against peace, against Cuba, against the Soviet Union, against humanity, against progressive and even liberal sectors of the United States.”

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General Fabian Escalante: U.S. government withholds JFK records that undoubtedly prove a plot

Now available on You Tube retired Major General Fabian Escalante, former head and current historian of Cuba’s State Security Department,i gives a sneak preview of his upcoming book Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Aggression Against Cuba. Read more